Sunday Postcard #001 2.8.20

Hello there and happy Sunday!

You may have spotted that this isn’t a Sunday Sevens post. I decided that after 230 weeks of Sunday Sevens, it was time for a change. The Sunday Sevens phenomenon was first created by sewing blogger Natalie, at Threads and Bobbins. Her idea was for bloggers to share seven photos from the previous seven days in a series of posts which were markedly different from their usual crafty or lifestyle posts.

Lately, because of the move back to the UK, I have had weeks without Sunday Sevens, Sunday Sevens with far more than seven photos and some with far fewer. Bearing in mind I have just moved countries with my family away from the Gibraltar named in my blog title, I thought that perhaps I should focus more on the ‘Postcard’ part instead.

So this will be my new weekly (when I can/when I remember) post. I can’t guarantee how long or picturesque they will be going forward, but I will try to share a bit of beauty each week.

So here is my first Sunday Postcard offering:

A postcard from Gibraltar

I have to admit it feels very strange writing blog posts from England without the feeling that we will soon be getting back on a plane and heading home to Gib. I’m sure in coming months, especially when the weather takes a turn for the worst, I will really miss Gibraltar, the mild (and sometimes very wet) winters, the fact I spent more time each year in flip flops than in boots, our beautiful views and of course our lovely friends. But, at the moment I’m really enjoying our new life here in Manchester. (The above photo is of a Gibraltar postcard I came across when I was packing up to move).

Grey skies

One of the overriding questions I’ve been asked since our move from Gibraltar is ‘Are you missing the sunshine?’ The answer is ‘no, not really’. We certainly don’t have blue skies everyday up here in the north west of England, but I’m really enjoying the wide open spaces, the greenery and having special people I’ve been far away from for almost 2 decades living round the corner.

Hob-nobbing with the stars

Earlier this week, before the new tighter Covid restrictions came into force, we had a visit from some very good friends. We took them to Media City to show them the Blue Peter Garden and where many of their favorite TV shows are filmed.

Although many people were wearing masks (including us), and there was a slightly subdued atmosphere there, you couldn’t get away from the fact it’s a rather exciting place. We even spotted a few familiar faces from the world of showbiz as we had our lunch out in the open air.

Can you spot those green houses and jazzy garden sheds in the photo above? Those could be booked out for lunch! You could have your own bubble in a glass bubble! What a fab idea.

Below is the closest I can get to a photo of open water for you these days… it’s the Manchester Ship Canal!!

A woodland walk

On Thursday we had a really pleasant walk back to a favorite place of mine, Marbury Country Park in Cheshire. There’s a gorgeous woodland walk via Marbury Mere and the nearby canal as well as wide open spaces for picnics. Not to mention lots of gorgeous greenery.

An old friend

A long time ago, long before our move out to Gibraltar, I was given this rose called Wee Cracker. It lived in a pot and followed us on various house moves in the north of England until we headed off to Gib. Since then it has lived in my parents’ back garden where my Mum has lovingly nurtured it until the day I could have it back. It was waiting in the back garden of our rental home when we arrived three weeks ago, and here it is looking lovely – the first bud opened yesterday.

That’s all for this week, I’ll leave you with this collection of pictures from last month – a very busy one for us! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Sunday Sevens #197 21.7.19

Hello there! I hope you’ve had a good week! Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens, seven pictures from the last seven days….

Beautiful building

I had a meeting in this beautiful old building on Monday. I have walked past it countless times on my wanders around Gibraltar but never set foot inside before. Wow, what a stunning staircase!

Sunshine through the green!

I drove past this banana (I think) leaf on Tuesday and the sunlight shining through it caught my eye. When I walked past it later, I had to take a photo!

Marbella

We had a midweek trip to Marbella. The old town is just so pretty.

The breakfast of champions

We went out for breakfast on Thursday morning – what a treat! Never had new potatoes with my eggs Benedict before… it was delicious though!

Levanter galore!

It was a rather grey but humid day on Friday. We went to the beach… it was rather quiet! (I wonder why?!) The Little Postcards enjoyed themselves in spite of the weather.

Beautiful bougainvillea

I walk past this beautiful bougainvillea every so often and it almost all year round looks fab. We’ve had mixed results when we’ve tried to grow it – this one gets a gold star!

And that’s all from me for this week. I hope it’s been a good one for you.

Sunday Sevens was first created by Natalie from Threads and Bobbins.

Sunday Sevens #150 19.8.18

So, here we are at my 150th Sunday Sevens! Feels like a bit of a milestone… so far I’ve managed to publish them all on time (ie on Sunday – even if they only made it moments before the strike of 12!). I hope I’m not tempting fate by saying that!!! So, here’s number 150:

Evening beach walk

Last Sunday night I’d had enough. I felt rather homesick for England. I get that way sometimes after a trip back home. I was tired, grumpy, and thoroughly fed up.

Eldest clearly picked up on my mood and suggested we go for a drive. Normally I’d say no, but I put my lethargy out of my mind and picked up the car keys. I’m so glad I did. We left the youngest 2 with Mr Postcard and drove to the East side for a walk on Eastern beach.

It was really rather lovely and brightened my mood no end. Well done Eldest, and thank you 😊.

Hunting for shade

On Monday we had a few errands to run in town and ended up seeking a bit of sanctuary in Commonwealth Park. It was a beautiful, calm oasis and coincidentally we bumped into a few friends from the boys’ schools, so it was a great detour.

Protests

On Wednesday I took a drive into Spain with the boys. It was only as we crossed the border that I noticed the large protest which was going on on the Spanish side. It was industrial action to do with the Spanish police forces and had a huge impact on the queue of motorists heading into Gib. The queue of traffic waiting to cross into Gibraltar stretched almost all the way to Campamento (about 4 km).

I had been planning a strategic dash into the shop in question and then to head home straight away, but we went for lunch instead before shopping and the queue was much shorted on our return, just 50 minutes wait…

Thursday

We had a lovely day at the beach on Thursday, this was the view as we were packing up to go home, with a police speed boat whizzing last.

Patio problems

Our poor patio’s not looking too great at the minute. We live next to a long, and I mean long, building project (as is a common occurrence in Gibraltar) and our poor plants are covered in dust, masonry paint and even cement. These blooms are the best bits.

Cardboard boat race

The annual charity cardboard boat race took place in Gibraltar yesterday. The event has really grown over the years, from maybe 8 boats the first time we watched it to a junior race, and two heats and a final for the adults yesterday. Some of the creations were amazing to see. Such a lovely community event.

That’s it for this week, thanks for stopping by to read number 150! I’m linking, as always, with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series.

Sunday Sevens #145 15.7.18

That week went fast! First week of the school holidays over already, and we got through unscathed! It’s been a week of sporting activities for the children and lazy beach trips, and a fair bit of eating… the diet starts tomorrow 😉

Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens …

Things didn’t go to plan

Last Sunday, we did something we don’t normally do, we took a drive out into Spain to go for lunch. Unfortunately our trip got slightly scuppered by long tailbacks on the motorway very soon after joining it. We took the executive decision to cut our trip short, not fancying spending longer than necessary in a hot car with children in the back. Fortunately for us, the next motorway exit was in sight, so we turned round and came back to Gibraltar for lunch. If we hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have been able to gorge myself on this lovely chocolatey dessert….

Getting nowhere fast

More traffic problems happened on Monday, this time in Gibraltar. After almost 9 years living here you would have thought by now I’d learn to avoid the roads around the airport when there are planes due to land! (For those unfamiliar with Gibraltar: the main road to the border with Spain cuts across the airport runway, so when a plane’s due to land or takeoff, that road has to be closed and it has an impact on traffic nearby bringing it to a standstill).

A summer stroll

Bearing in mind my recent traffic problems, I opted for walking for much of the rest of the week! You certainly get to see and experience a lot more, even if you are a bit sweaty when you get to your destination!

Got enough toppings on that?!

So, at the end of that walk (above) there was this lovely pizza waiting for my lunch! It was super tasty but I had to opt for a knife and fork to eat it with all those toppings!!

Stargazing

I’m rather pleased with my lillies from last year, I think they’re call stargazer lillies. They have come back again, and flowered this week and are even better than last year!

School holiday sports programme

We are very lucky here in Gibraltar to have a comprehensive summer sports and leisure programme set up for school children during the summer holidays. There are all sorts of things from summer training for different sports, art and design classes and even history walks around the town. It gives the 8 week-long summer holiday a bit of structure and in many cases is free, or requires a small fee to be paid.

Sanctuary

One of the few benefits of visiting the beach on a windy day, is that the chiringuito was empty! We popped to the beach at Sandy Bay on Friday morning not realising quite how windy it was going to be. After half an hour of being sand blasted, we headed to the beach bar/cafe for refuge and coffee. Normally packed out with beach goers seeking shade and refreshment, we almost had the place to ourselves!we’ve enjoyed a couple of beach days this week, it would be rude not to seeing as we have so many beaches nearby! (You can read all about Gibraltar’s beaches here.)

Thanks for stopping by to read my Sunday Sevens, I’ve noticed I have a few new people following my blog lately, thank you for that! I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series, and I’ll be back again next week!

Sunday Sevens #127 18.3.18

Blimey we had a wild night of weather last night. I know there’s a mini-beast from the East hitting the British Isles at the minute, but we also had tales and heavy rain overnight. Gusts in the Port of Gibraltar reached 100km per hour overnight and our poor balcony took a bit of a battering as we faced much of the wind head-on.

Anyway, weather aside, I hope this edition of Sunday Sevens finds you well and that you’ve had a good week.

Mother’s Day

Last Sunday was of course Mother’s Day. I was very lucky and was given this beautiful bouquet of roses by the Little Postcards along with a box of chocolates (they know me well). I was a very kind Mummy and shared them (as much for my benefit as their’s though – my figure is looking decidedly rounded these days…).

A blessing of unicorns

Way back last summer when I set off on my Summer Craft Challenge, the first thing I made was Europa the Unicorn. She came as a kit with Simply Crochet Magazine issue 54 and was designed by Ilaria Caliri. Europa came with us on all of our European adventures last summer (some of which I have still to tell you about when I get the chance!).

Anyway, back then I was asked by a couple of friends to make them a unicorn. That number of requests grew to four and I thought I had better pull my finger out and get on with it, so a unicorn production line began. And here they are in all their rainbow glory along with Europa – the girl who started it all (with the golden horn).

I do enjoy making amigurumi creatures but the counting and careful noting of rows and increases / decreases means that I need to concentrate – something I’m no good at in a house full of boys! So at last, only 7 months after making the requests, my little blessing of unicorns (yes that’s what Google says the collective noun of unicorns is) are heading off to their new homes and this unicorn factory is closing.

Another WIP completed!

Work in progress number 6 of 2018 completed (if you include the unicorns a number 5). This ripple scarf was actually finished a while ago, but this week I blocked it to make the pointy edges sit nicely ready to give it to my Mum. It was a late Christmas present (I just didn’t get it done in time to post it to England in time for Christmas) and I was able to give it to her when she arrived in Gibraltar this week. It’s made using a Scheepjes Whirl in Red Velvet Sunrise. I’m very pleased to say she was very happy with it, even though it was a bit late.

Boat spotting

We get to see all sorts of different boats and ships coming past out window on a regular basis, but a couple of times this week we saw a small cruise ship park up (I know that’s not the correct terminology) outside our home and it looked like it was bunkering (taking on supplies). It was an unusual sight as normally a cruise ship would anchor in port. But we couldn’t see any passengers on board so we presumed it was perhaps a new ship on it’s sea trials. We found I interesting anyway!

Lunchtime treat

As I mentioned before, my parents arrived in Gibraltar this week and we went out for a sneaky lunch while the Little Postcards were at school. I’m salivating just looking at this photo, I could go another plate of fish and chips now!! It was utterly delicious and far nicer than the tin of soup I would normally, have for lunch on my own!

Coastal Crochet CAL update

I am bang up to date on the Seaside Stashbusting Blanket CAL organised by Eleanora at Coastal Crochet. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, I’m really enjoying the slow gentle nature of this crochet along. Just four rows are released each week and that’s a rate I can keep up with! I have a feeling I may be making a colour change soon though and give the aqua blues a rest for a while…

Stormy Saturday

Blimey we had a heck of a storm yesterday. This winter seems to have brought us more than our usual number of storms here in Gibraltar – I know you may think we have got off lightly as we didn’t have the snow and ice that many have suffered further north but we have had an awful lot of wind and rain! This is what our balcony looked like first thing this morning. Our poor pots have seen better days – they seem to spend more time on their sides these days!

Thanks for popping over to see what I’ve been up to this week. I hope whatever you have in store next week, it’s a good one for you. I’m linking with Natalie from Threads & Bobbins for Sunday Sevens.

English garden appreciation 

Row of cottage gardens, Greater Manchester
 

Now I know I’m incredibly lucky to be able to live where I do. The weather is mostly very good, we’re by the sea and surrounded by great friends and a wonderful community. But you know that old chestnut about the grass being greener… I really do wonder what life would be like to live in a house and not an apartment and have a real garden not a balcony & patio.

Echinops
 

I know, I know, I’m very spoiled but I really miss having a garden (a green one full of grass etc). I’ve been seven years without one now and it’s only when you don’t have something anymore that you really appreciate what you’re missing.

Terraced house front garden in Caversham, Berkshire
 

When I return to England each summertime I see the gardens in the town I grew up in at their absolute best. Hanging baskets galore, neat lawns, climbers, roses and huge leafy deciduous trees.

A row of hanging baskets in Greater Manchester
 

During my summer break I took quite a few photos of flowers and shrubs in other folk’s gardens – I hope they didn’t mind!! While speaking to a good friend of mine when I was over, she pointed out the fact that I probably notice nicely planted pots and beds of traditional British bedding plants because they are a novelty to me. Perhaps they are, but it doesn’t make them any less special.

No matter how much or how little your patch of earth is, it doesn’t matter. Just look how glorious these hollyhocks look outside this cottage we drove past:

Cottage in Sonning, Berkshire
 

I just LOVE these fuchsias which were in a hanging basket in my Mum & Dad’s back garden. They looked so voluptuous and alive – I doubt very much they are looking as glorious now that we’re in November!!

I appreciate that all of the beautiful gardens and plants I have included in this most probably don’t look like this anymore now that Autumn is well and truly underway in the British Isles, but let’s just revel in that glorious colour a little bit longer should we?

 

Cottage garden in Southwold, Suffolk
 

Thatched Cottage near Ludham on the Norfolk Broads
 

Clematis
Hydrangea

Ah, that feels better! I just love gardens…

My Mum’s Agapanthus

 

 … thank you for allowing me to indulge in that glorious English summer one more time! 🙂

 

 

 

Convent Garden Party 2016

 

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Entrance to the Convent

A couple of Saturdays ago, on 25th June, the Governor of Gibraltar opened the doors to his official residence for the annual Convent Garden Party. The event, which has been running for several years now, gives mere mortals like ourselves the chance to enjoy a wander around the beautiful Convent Gardens.
Before heading out into the gardens this year, we took a walk upstairs to have a mooch around the state rooms. This stunning dining room is adorned with shields and crests which (according to Wikipedia) form the most extensive collection of heraldry in the Commonwealth of Nations.

State dining room

In the ballroom there has been an art show in previous years but this time there was an exhibition of weapons by the Gibraltar Museum. I have to admit that weapons aren’t really my thing, either old fashioned ones or modern machine guns.

The one weapon of note which caught my eye was number 42, which is a relic from the Battle of Trafalgar.

Heading back downstairs we cut across the tranquil courtyard with it’s charity stalls.

Cloistered courtyard
Out in the garden we were entertained by jazz musicians playing by the fountain. There were bouncy castles for the children as well as a rope walk between the trees put on by the Scouts. (The Governor is the Chief Scout of Gibraltar and allows scouts to camp in his back garden occasionally).

The ladies of the Convent Charity Committee had a lovely stall with home-made cakes and other refreshments. The people you can see in the gazebo were sitting in the shade enjoying the tasty treats. The Convent staff also had their regular stall selling plants which have been propagated and grown in the garden itself.


The main attraction for me though, as always, is the plants. I’ll let them speak for themselves.

At the far end of the gardens this year there was a display of birds of prey – I don’t remember seeing this on our previous visits.

I really love coming to have a look around this garden – we have been going for about six  years now. Last year I wrote one of my first blog posts on the event A stroll up the garden path….

It’s a great fundraiser for the local community and it’s so nice to have the chance to have a look around. When I’m feeling homesick for the British Isles it reminds me a little of a National Trust garden (if you ignore the heat and the Mediterranean planting), in times of uncertainty (as we were feeling two weekends ago immediately after the EU Referendum result) it’s a constant which doesn’t really change. Whatever way you look at it, it’s a really beautiful colourful oasis in a very busy and hectic place.

Sunday Sevens #38 3.7.16

Well it’s certainly summer here in Gibraltar, someone has turned the thermostat up on the heating and we’re cooking nicely. We have reached that delightful stage of the season where, in our non air conditioned apartment you stick to the chair if you stay in it for too long! Sorry for that image 😛 . Here’s a little look back at what I’ve been up to this week. It’s very floral; flowers and gardens seem to have been a theme this week.

Watercolour class

I got back to my watercolour class this week after a 4 week break and it looks like my time off has had an effect. Not too happy with this offering, it either needs more work or a bin! We were working from a painting which my art teacher found on a greetings card. The original was really lovely – you’ll have to use your imagination I’m afraid.

Frangipani

I love seeing these frangipani blooms when they open. As far as I am aware there is just one spot in Gibraltar where they grow. It’s on Queensway just next to Commonwealth Park. Sometimes I park my car in the carpark next door to Commonwealth Park and I get to walk past these beauties coming and going from the car. They really are stunning at the moment – so tropical looking. 

There are some gorgeous pink ones growing there too but the flowers are quite high up. I have stood on my tiptoes trying to get a decent photo but so far have failed, I’ll keep trying and will share it if I’m successful. If you see soon loony stretching to take a photo which is complete out of my reach – please resist the temptation to push me over 😉

Dressmaking class

I’m really making headway with my final skirt at my dressmaking class. As you can see from the photo the waistband is going on. Unfortunately, when I tried it on the front pleat sat right on top of my stomach, drawing rather a lot of attention to it (not a good look), so I have had to unpick the front to adjust the pleat. Hopefully I’ll get the skirt finished next week as it’s our last lesson of the academic year.

Oleander trees

We have had a few school friends round to play in the afternoons this week as all the government schools in Gibraltar are on half days (finishing at lunchtime). I have to admit that I’m struggling with it a bit this year. There is always a ratcheting up of stress levels as the school year comes to a climax with sports days, beach days, pyjama days, parties and concerts and all the associated outfits and rehearsals which go with that. Put that on top of the usual jobs you have to do but with only 3 hours each week day child free in order to do it, I have to admit I’m shattered. How parents who work for a living manage I have no idea.

This week was week 3 of 4 half day weeks so I’m almost on the home straight. Each little Postcard had a friend over this week to help make the afternoons run a little smoother (read sibling tension here). One day we went to the park for a while before heading home for lunch and I found myself gazing up into the beautiful pink blossom of the oleander trees above. Aren’t they just beautiful? They have frilly double blooms and remind me of the dresses the ballroom dancers used to wear on Come Dancing when I was little. It was such a delight to see them, a real moment of stopping and taking a deep breath in amongst the chaos of our current weekly routine.

Operation patio tidy

Summer time generally means spending more time outdoors and our poor patio has been neglected of late. There is major construction work going on in the building directly behind ours so there is noise and dust from about 7:30am until at least 6pm on week days. That and having an audience of builders in hard hats looking down on you kind of puts you off having a cup of tea in the yard during a quiet moment.

I took a bit of time while the builders had downed tools to have a potter this week. I painted a wall – it looks lovely and bright in the sunshine now – especially against the bougainvillea. We have had mixed results with our trees this year. Our lemon and orange trees have blossomed twice and had baby fruits on them but they shrivelled up and fell off. Our new almond tree looks dead too so that’s not so good either, but Mr Postcard pointed out that we have baby figs growing on our little fig tree so we’re happy about that. The stephanotis is looking good too with it’s white blossom, the leaves are a tad dirty in this photo due to the thunder storm we had this week which brought loads of Saharan dust with it.

And relax…..

On Friday evening I took the little Postcards to Queensway Quay to meet Mr Postcard for an after work drink and dinner. That pint of San Miguel really hit the spot after such a busy week!

Reliving my childhood

We made our usual Saturday trip into town yesterday, we had a few bits we needed to buy for the week ahead. On the way back to the car we all had Slush Puppies and went to sit in Commonwealth Park. The park was almost empty (as you can see) I reckon most of Gibraltar had gone to the beach. We sat in the sun slurping happily and watched the little Postcards doing roly-polies down the hill.

That’s all from me this week, I hope your week has been good for you. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series featuring seven photos from the last seven days. The series was the brainchild of Natalie at Threads & Bobbins, if you fancy joining in check out Natalie’s blog for more details.

A stroll around Gibraltar No.11 : Alameda Gardens Part 2

Hello there, following on with last week’s A stroll around Gibraltar No.10: Devil’s Gap Battery , I thought I’d revisit one of my favourite places here, the Alameda Botanical Gardens. A few months back I took you on a stroll here in A stroll around Gibraltar No 7 but there is so much to see in this beautiful green oasis that I reckon it’s worth more than one trip. Plus, this year is a big one for the Botanical Gardens as it’s celebrating its 200th birthday.

During the past year or so, there has been a lot of work done here, especially in the top section along the avenue close to the Rock Hotel. Flower beds have been cleared and improved, sculptures have been added and a rather impressive glass house has been built.

As you can see in these photos, it’s an impressive structure surrounded with beautiful planting.

So what’s inside? Orchids, lots and lots of beautiful orchids…..

They are planted around a small pond and waterfall as well as hanging from trees as they would grow naturally in their natural habitats in Asia.

Apologies for the slightly dodgy quality of these pictures, I had to take them through the window. The orchid house was officially opened towards the end of April and it was open to the public for several hours on the big day. Sadly, I didn’t find out about it until too late, so missed my chance to see these beauties up close and personal. I keep trying the door whenever we visit to see if it’s open, but unfortunately it’s not been so far.

I’m sure you’ll agree with me that it is absolutely stunning. What a great way to celebrate the bicentenary of the gardens. I just hope that it will be maintained in its current state as it’s just gorgeous right now.

In addition to the orchid house and new planting, quite a few of these wooden tree stump sculptures have sprung up about the place. I love the deep orangey shade to the wood. I’m sure the colour will change as it matures over time but I do like it in it’s freshly sawn condition.

When I did my last stroll around the Alameda Gardens I was rather sad that I wasn’t able to include a part of the gardens which is very special to me. Just a little further along the avenue from the new orchid house is a shady woodland area with a stream and waterfalls running through it and a pond at the bottom. I think it’s known as the Lions Pond as the Lions Gibraltar Charity helped fund it when it was built several decades ago. When I went to photograph the area I was sad to see the pond had been drained and there were signs up to say that the area had been vandalised.

One of the joys of living in Gibraltar is that there is very little anti-social behaviour and vandalism in public places (certainly a lot less than in some of the places I’ve lived in the UK). I was so shocked and saddened to find that the pond had been blighted in such a way. But imagine my delight when I strayed back into the woodland area a few weeks back and found this:

Not only had it all been cleaned out, it had been replanted and refilled and was looking even more beautiful than I had ever seen it before.

A year or so after we first moved to Gibraltar a very special visitor came to stay with us: my Gran. She was in her 90s when she flew over to see us with my Mum. She wasn’t too steady on her feet but she wanted to see as much as she could of our new home and as we lived close to the Alameda Gardens at the time, and she was a plant lover, she naturally wanted to explore a bit here. I vividly remember her sitting on the bench overlooking the Lions pond as the little Postcards (there were just 2 at the time) spied into the water looking for fish.

Unfortunately Gran is no longer with us but I always think of her when I come to this peaceful shady spot and I think she would greatly approve of all the hard work which has gone into sprucing it up. It looks just beautiful.

It’s not just the top section of the gardens which are looking fine at the minute, many of the other flower beds are blooming too. These African daisies are just stunning with their purple and orange centres.

I have no idea what the name of this flower is, but there are quite a few in the gardens and I rather like them too!

Another of the wooden sculptures:

Please excuse the gratuitous floral close-ups, I was playing with my camera when I went on this stroll ;-).

I love the lavender flower bed in this raised area, the perfume’s amazing.

Nestling in among some of the flower beds are some headstones. I really don’t know why they are here (other than to mark the graves of people of course) but why they were buried in the gardens is a question I don’t have the answer to right now (one to research later).

If you read my last stroll around the Alameda Gardens Part 1, you may remember seeing the beautiful children’s garden tended by the Alameda Gardening Club. It had a bee hotel and lots of herbs and other eatables growing. That’s not the only children’s plot in the gardens, there’s also this very well kept veg garden at the southern most end close to the Wildlife Park.

I know of a few children who have benefitted from coming to the Alameda Gardening Club, and it’s a very valuable resource for the children of Gibraltar, the vast majority of which grow up without a garden of their own. The leaders do a truly wonderful job inspiring the young gardeners.

So there you go, I have taken you for a walk along the top avenue of the Alameda and it leads us up to this point where you can see the Bay of Gibraltar glistening through the trees. I’m sure you’ll agree with me it’s a really marvellous green space and one which is much needed in such a built up environment. I always feel so much better after a visit. This isn’t goodbye though, I’ll be back for another stroll here before too long, because there’s still more for me to show you.

Thanks for joining me, I hope to see you soon.

 

 

A stroll around Gibraltar No 4: Gardens 

  Convent Garden fountain

Space is at a premium here in Gibraltar so very few people are lucky enough to have gardens. Nevertheless, it would appear that for many, lack of space is not a problem for would-be gardeners. Whichever road or street you go down, you will find keen green-fingered Gibraltar residents making the most of the space we’ve got.   

 St Jago’s

Whether it’s a window box, a row of pots outside the front door or a verdant balcony or roof terrace, those of us who love plants will NOT be beaten! 

 Upper Town

Gibraltar has it’s own Horticultural Society – did you know that? It’s been running for over sixty years. It was founded by Lady MacMillan, the then Governor’s wife back in 1953. Two flower shows are held each year with categories including; balconies, patios, courtyards, terraces, gardens, schools, corridors and estates. So no matter how much or how little space you’ve got, you can still have a go – even if it’s a single geranium plant in a pot. 

 Upper Town

It would seem that the British love affair with gardening persists even in these sunbaked and at times, rather unforgiving climes. There’s a Facebook page for Gibraltar home gardeners which boasts nearly 300 members and is a forum for gardeners to share hints and tips as well as sharing pictures of their horticultural successes and failures. 

 Upper Town

Sourcing plants isn’t too much of a problem here thankfully as there is a (small) garden centre – possibly the smallest in the world! The supermarkets here also stock some plants, although we have found to our cost that a few of them are a bit too ‘British’ for the Gibraltar climate and haven’t necessarily done too well here like hydrangeas and raspberries. 

 Garrison Library garden

We are also lucky enough to have a few garden centres situated a short drive away in Spain, so if we can’t find what we’re looking for here, we don’t  have too far to go to get new stock. 

 Europa Point Lighthouse keepers cottage gardens

Also, in my experience, I have found Gibraltar’s gardeners very generous in parting with their plants. In the last year I’ve been gifted nasturtiums and two types of lily. I have also bought a few plants from the Convent Garden at it’s annual garden party. 

 Upper Town

For some people, of course, their gardens can’t be on ground level and a roof terrace is their only outside space. 

 Town centre roof terrace 

One of the greatest upheavals of moving to Gibraltar (apart from leaving friends and family) was leaving my garden. I was a keen gardener and an avid watcher of Gardener’s World. I attended Gardener’s World Live at the NEC in Birmingham twice and made a wonderful trip to the Chelsea Flower Show. We may not have a beautiful display of bulbs in Spring, a lush green lawn in Summer or a beautiful show in Autumn with our Acers in our old front garden, but in Gibraltar we can embrace a different form of gardening. 

 South District

One plant which has always failed for me after at least half a dozen attempts, both in the UK and here in Gibraltar is agapanthus. I would just love to have some in our patio and lust after these beauties in the Governor’s own back garden:   

 Convent Garden

We have, however, had great success with our geraniums and pelargoniums which we inherited when we moved into our place. I was, at first, filled with trepidation about becoming custodians of such mature plants, but  so far, we’ve succeeded :-), we haven’t lost one yet! They grow so big here as they don’t lie dormant long in the winter like they do back at home (or indeed get killed by frost), as long as they are regularly dead headed and have a bit of plant food every now and again, they give us a wonderful show. They look their absolute best at sunset after a sunny day as the just seem to glow!

  I do hope you’ve enjoyed this short stroll around Gibraltar’s ‘gardens’, please call in again soon as I’ll be heading out for another stroll next week!